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I have two weddings today, with a break in between during which I will do one of my favorite things:  have lunch somewhere by myself and read.  And this morning I’ve begun the day’s journey with more reading.  I love to read.  It simultaneously changes my consciousness and gives me ideas.  Reading transforms my thinking from doubt, worry, disappointment, dissatisfaction and general malaise to confidence, faith, hope, contentment and general well being.  Reading also is part of my research for much of the stuff I get to do in life that pays the bills:  the workshops and retreats, and my writing.  I take in the wisdom of others, and let it simmer inside of me, like cooking a great meal in a slow cooker, and then, when it is ready, out pops my own unique flavor of wisdom.  I have two workshops coming up, one I have designed and completed.  It’s actually one I’ve been doing for years, one that was requested.  When a workshop I’ve already done has been requested, I simply tweak the workshop to better represent and match the audience.  So one workshop is ready to go.  The other one is about fear.  I only have three hours for this workshop, and fear, well, fear covers a lot of ground.  Do we lean into it?  Avoid it?  Do we believe the teaching that fear and faith or love cannot co-exist at the same time in the same entity?  How do we recognize fear in our lives and what does it have to teach us?  And what do we do about it when it comes?  This promises to be a doozy of a workshop and I am excited to see how it develops.  I’ve got a good beginning.  I’m also in the midst of creating a series of talks about abundance, and so much of my reading is on that topic.  I love the weddings and portrait sessions.  When I did that work full time, it not only provided my means to pay the bills, but it fed something within me and I was full up, complete.  Now that I do that work part time, it still contributes to paying the bills, but it only feeds part of me.  After all the training and schooling, I’ve changed.  After all the inner and outer changes in my life, I’ve transformed and thus, how I show up in the world has transformed, and what I need to feel that contentment I spoke of has changed.  What really feeds me is the other work:  the workshops, the retreats, the teaching.  What I have to say to the world is that life truly begins from the inside of us.  If we don’t go within, we go without, and everything I do begins within.  My life is wonderful, and being able to facilitate this transformation in other people is what truly feeds me now.  So on this beautiful fall day I will go off into the world and do some wonderful work, and spend some time preparing to do some other wonderful work.  Life is good.

If everything is either an expression of love or a call for love, that has great ramifications for us in terms of how we live our life, and how we respond to life.
Boiled down to its simplest form, we get to pay attention to whether the events and people in our lives are an expression of love, or a call for love.  And we get to pay attention to whether we ourselves are expressing love or calling for it.
This is the life lesson.  What is our own call for love?  What is our expression of love?  The most accurate way I know of to determine that is to examine how other people are treating us.  And how life is treating us.
Chances are, if one person is treating us a certain way, it is happening in other areas too.  And if we remember that life is simply reflecting back to us what we are projecting, then this puts us in the empowering position of examining what we are projecting in life, then changing that projection.
So we begin with an exploration of our core values.  And we pay attention to what is showing up in our life.  And we adjust and/or tweak our own responses, actions and words to fit our values.  Or we change our values.  In this way we are taking charge of our lives, no longer victims.  Empowered to then be an expression of love, and to better answer other’s calls for love with that expresssion.

Fun
Fabulous Unique Nut
Feeling Up Now
Feeling the Universe Now
Find Ur Nature
What is fun?  Think about it.  How do you have fun?  You DO have fun don't you?  Do you do fun things?  Is life itself fun?  Or do you simply go from one SHOULD to another, one task to another, thinking that you will have fun one of these days?
I have an invitation for you:  don't do it if it isn't fun.  Yep.  I have learned that life is too short to do anything that isn't fun.  But your fun is different than my fun.  The key is to figure out what is fun for you.
And so we get to the first invitation when we consider fun:  Figure it out!  Figure Unique Nourishment.

...continue reading "FUN: Fill Unique Niche Or Fabulous Unique Nut or …?"

Yesterday I was having a chat with Lovely Lili and she said, “We aren’t what we do, we’re what we love.”

That struck me as so profound and simple....and powerful, given the context of our conversation.

We were talking about overwhelm.  As in......we both wanted something done and it wasn’t happening!  Do you ever feel like that:  overwhelmed?  Like you won’t ever get it all done?  Like there is too much?  Or...perhaps it doesn’t seem to matter how much you do, you never quite seem to finish.  It never gets completely done!  Success always seems just out of reach.

When I feel like that, it is for one of two reasons:

  1.  There is simply so much to do that I don’t know where to start, and I get stuck.  Then procrastination stops by to say hi.
  2. I don’t feel worthy of getting it all done.  Same result:  I get stuck.

...continue reading "Get ‘er done!"

I was chatting with a lady yesterday about how horses make excellent therapy animals. We were talking about the retreat I’m doing with Melinda Bourke Blackwell and Fran Melino on September 22 at Melinda’s place in Washoe Valley. This lady is a city girl, she wasn’t quite getting the concept. So I said,

“Let’s say you are walking a horse through a course and all of a sudden the horse stops, and no matter what you do, it won’t go. That means you are blocked somewhere in your life.”

She still didn’t quite get it. So I explained further,

“Horses are very intuitive. If you have a situation in your life where you are stuck, where you just can’t seem to get any further along, they will sense that, and until you deal with the stuckness, they won’t go.”

And that is part of what the retreat on September 22 is all about. It is also about a full day retreat from life’s normal activities. And lunch. And hanging out in a beautiful place with awesome critters.

Registration is here.

A three hour workshop....not a three hour tour! Although this workshop might just give you as long lasting results as the folks' stay on Gilligan's Island!

If you have ever heard the phrase "expectations are premeditated resentments," you may want to attend this workshop. If you've received conflicting advice about this concept, perhaps from a mentor or coach, you will want to attend this workshop. If you consistently have problems because "they" aren't doing it right, then you will want to attend this workshop. If you have decided simply to not have any expectations at all, then you will want to attend this workshop. If you are continuously disappointed, then you will want to attend this workshop. Or if you are curious as to how on earth someone could even think it could be any other way, you might want to check this workshop out.

At this workshop, you will learn that you can have expectations, and have them come true!

Sound a bit like airy fairy tale stuff? Attend this workshop, and learn about a different way of thinking about it. In this workshop, you will learn which expectations are limiting you in your life, and which can be more like visions, to guide you to a life of joy.

Date of this workshop is Thursday, June 28, from 6-9 PM. You can attend from the comfort of your own home as it will be via Zoom. All you need is an Internet connection, a computer with a web cam, or a tablet or even your cell phone. Upon registration you will receive a link to join the workshop, along with instructions just in case you are unfamiliar with the platform.

Sign up now:

 

Something is brewing in me, and I know that if it is brewing in me, it might be brewing in you too.  Perhaps we can brainstorm a bit and see what we can produce.

What is brewing is inclusion.  All around me I see evidence of exclusion.  Sometimes, I admit, some affinity with people of like mind is necessary.  Affinity groups they call them.  In my area, we have a proliferation of them.  I have no problem with affinity groups, but my heart yearns to take things a step further.

What if we stepped outside of our comfort zones?

What if women began doing things with men, and vice versa?  What if vegans had gatherings with meat eaters, and vice versa?  What if Christians began doing things with people of other religions, and vice versa?  What if people of all colors began conversations that were different than the ones we are currently having?

What if there were no need for affinity groups?  What then?

Right now, the way I see it.....we’ve got utter chaos going on.  And the same old conversations.  People retreat to their own spaces, with their own people, in times of chaos.  I get that.  It is a self protective mechanism.  Unfortunately, this kind of retreat is only a short term fix for a long term problem, and ultimately this kind of retreat blocks us from our greater good.

And we have blame going on.  Everyone is blaming everyone else for society’s problems.  Another protective mechanism.  The shadow side of this one is particularly hideous:  it keeps us in the problem and only creates more of the same, and sometimes leads to violence.

Then we have control issues.  Giant control issues.  They are a protective mechanism as well.  We have people, in a sort of mega-self protection bubble, trying to control what we eat, whether or not and to what extent we own firearms, reproductive rights, who we choose to have sex with in the privacy of our own homes, whether or not to wear seat belts for crying out loud!  With our control and enabling, we’ve created a society of people who can no longer think for themselves.  In fact, we’ve created a society of people who don’t even know how to think for themselves, nor do they want to, because it is simply too scary.

Things are getting more chaotic, because we aren’t listening and we are doing the same things over and over again.  We aren’t listening to a call that says the conversations have to change and the actions need to change.  The blame and the control issues need to stop, and we need to begin having a different conversation.  The “us and them” bullshit needs to stop.  There is no us and there is no them.  There is only we.  And the sooner we acknowledge that and begin to explore how we can all get along, the better off we will be.

The answer to chaos isn’t retreat into affinity groups.  It doesn’t lie in blaming others, nor in trying to control others.  It lies in taking personal responsibility, forgiveness, and willingness to have different conversations.

I’ve taken my own steps towards this.  I bring up the topic of how to have a different conversation whenever I have a chance to speak with someone who votes differently than I do, or who believes in a different god than I do, or who is a different gender than me.  Right now I consider those conversations to be a bit clumsy, because I have no idea what to say or how to proceed, except that it needs to be said and done differently.   It is an exploration that takes willingness, openmindedness and genuine love.  I’ve stepped WAY outside my own comfort zone to join an interfaith group, and we are beginning, as a group, to have some different conversations.  I also avoid, whenever possible, affinity groups.  Yep.....I’ve stopped attending women only functions if at all possible.  And I host only inclusive functions.  My retreats are always open to men and women, gay and straight and otherwise, Christian and non-Christian.  We have common ground, yes we do!  I welcome people who eat all kinds of foods into my home, and without trying to control what they eat, I offer something that they can enjoy.

Doing this puts me on a different path than much of the world.  I’m forging a new path.  Is it uncomfortable?  Yep, sometimes.  I see people I know and love doing the same old same old, that I have chosen not to participate in, because I want to move to something greater.  I make conscious decisions not to participate in things because I want something greater.  Perhaps you are there as well.  Maybe you’ve been thinking that what you’ve been doing might not be working so well.  That is a start.  It’s a beginning.  Let’s forge a new path together shall we?

And here’s the call to action:  Join me.  If you are local, come hang out with me.  Let’s see if we can come up with something.  If you don’t live in the Carson Valley/Tahoe area, there are online options.  I can’t do this alone.  I need you.  Let’s talk.

Every week, I create a talk which I deliver at one and sometimes two places.  Sometimes I’m a guest speaker at various Centers for Spiritual Living in my area, and every Monday night I do the talk as a prelude to an open discussion.  We call these discussions Monday Night Musings, and if you live in the Lake Tahoe, Reno or Carson Valley areas, you are welcome to attend.  Every Monday night at 6 PM at A-to-Zen in Carson City.  Monday Night Musings are sponsored by the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City and while they are free, love offerings are gratefully accepted.  These offerings support the various endeavors of CSL Carson City, which are all in line with the mission of providing spiritual tools to live happier lives.  And they are tax deductible!

The process by which I create the talk takes all week.  At the beginning of the week, I  download the topic outline.  Each week’s outline was supplied by a different CSL minister, in a grass roots effort called The Global Vision.  What is cool about this is that many Centers all over the world are all following the same topic outlines, so no matter where you go, you will find the same general topic. And the beauty of it is that depending on the minister who is delivering the talk, you will get a different take on the topic!  After downloading the outline, I read it, and also read the week’s reading from the Ernest Holmes book Living the Science of Mind.  Then I let all that stuff “cook” in my consciousness for a few days.  By the time I sit down to write, things usually flow fairly smoothly and out comes a talk!

My take on this topic is life changing.  At least it was for me.  It reminds me that who I am today, and how I show up in the world today, need not be based on who I was yesterday.  It also need not be based on the events of yesterday.  This is a powerful way of thinking for those of us who have had unpleasantness occur in our lives.  And who hasn’t?

The truth is that we can be limited by basing our current lives on the past, or we can break those bonds and fly free.  My choice is to fly free.  What is yours?

Let’s face it, we all have goals in life. Even companies and organizations have goals.  What varies is how we get to those goals.  If you have ever consulted a life coach, they would likely give you a formula that looks something like this:

  1.  Set the goal
  2. Determine the steps needed to accomplish the goal
  3. Assign timelines, an overall one for for accomplishment of the goal, and then individual timelines, for accomplishment of each task.
  4. Then said life coach becomes your “accountability partner.”

Nothing wrong with this formula.  Except that I have found it doesn’t work well.  Life happens, and it doesn’t take into account those twists and turns, nor does it take into account the extraordinary level of sheer stubbornness needed to accomplish things this way.  Accomplishing goals this way seems like a gigantic battle.  Not to mention....I’m a big girl.....if I can’t hold myself accountable for doing things in my life, no one else is going to be able to do so.

I prefer this formula:

  1.  Who are you?  Who do you be?  What are your beliefs and values?
  2. What is your purpose for being here?  This describes your reason for being.
  3. What is your mission in life?  This describes your short and mid range goals.
  4.  What is your vision for your life?  This will draw on your mission.

And just for an example, here is mine:

  1.  I am a physical manifestation of spirit.
  2. My purpose for being here is to live in peace and joy, at my best and highest levels, and to help others do the same.
  3. My mission is to design and implement workshops, classes, retreats and other things to facilitate that peace and joy in others.
  4. My vision is that everyone live lives of peace and joy.

This is my compass.  It points me in a general direction, and as long as I am going in that general direction, I’m good.  The steps, the map, might change.  After all, maps need to be changed all the time.  Global warming means water levels on earth are changing.  Earthquakes mean topography changes.  When stuff happens in our lives, the map changes.  But the compass will always point us in the right direction.  And having a formula like this in your life will accommodate the changing topography that happens in all our lives.

As for that accountability partner, well, I prefer enthusiastic supporter.  This would be someone who knows your beliefs and values, and who holds those beliefs and values upper most in their minds, and reminds you of them when you have forgotten them.  In this way, you have the dignity that comes from empowerment that comes from taking personal responsibility for your life.  No one else can do that for you.

 

Live Wild and Free is the online educational arm of Center for Spiritual Living Carson City.  LW&F features podcasts, videos, online classes, self directed classes and live online discussions about practical applications of spiritual principles.

You can support LW&F in several ways:

  1.  Do you have a New Thought book?  If so, submit it for a future interview!
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  3. Donate via Paypal at the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City

I hope  you enjoy the interview!

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